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post #21 of 64 Old 04-18-2013, 10:14 PM
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What do you reckon your bench weighs in at? In addition to easy disassembly, lightweight is a concern as well for me. Debating right now between a solid glulam top or just building a frame and topping it with plywood.
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post #22 of 64 Old 04-18-2013, 10:32 PM Thread Starter
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I'm expecting it to weigh in at around 300 to 325 pounds. I want rigid strength and mass, but I agree with Paul sellers when he says a bench doesn't need to way 600 pounds to be effective. Chris schwarz even stated that his own bench weighed in at 400 while others he's built weighed 600+.


With the drawbore and through mortise/ tenon setup, it will definitely be rigid. Weight will prevent scooting across the shop floor, and the joinery will prevent bench racking and skewing. I agree that joinery will replace weight, as many have said.

Pics are of the chipping and splintering mortise walls, plenty more smoothing to do
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post #23 of 64 Old 04-18-2013, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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Chris, I have read and watched Paul sellers stuff before, but this time zoomed in on the DF he chops the mortises in, and noticed how clean the wall was.

Mine will NOT come that clean. I have tried everything, and it continues to splinter. It seems as if the DF I have isn't the same species, or isn't exactly the same.

I am also using bevel edge chisels, and have already snapped the edge off on each one:
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post #24 of 64 Old 04-19-2013, 09:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarge240 View Post
The Narex chisels are $30.00 less than the Veritas brand, and the reviews are really good.

There is a story behind my choice of hand tools over power. Basically it stems from my wife's grandfather, who built his house, his barn, his rifle rack, furniture, and woodshop all from hand tools. He has since given them away in favor of power tools, since he is older and lacks the strength and endurance to slam mallets and hammers like he was once able to do.

I was always fascinated by the idea of historical woodworking, where the technology of the day was in maneuvering a chisel, and the pressure of your body weight determined how the piece came out after sawing it. I watch Paul Sellers and Roy Underhill videos, and am just amazed at the level of skill and finesse these guys have with each piece they create. Paul Sellers used a #4 plane to create a raised panel out of flat stock. It was the only tool he used. To me, it is beautiful hand made craftsmanship. Power tools do the trick, and they dont take away from the handmade idea, nor the craftsmanship, but I prefer the older way of doing it.

I recently acquired a free tablesaw, and upon its third use, cutting a sheet of oak plywood, the blade binded and the piece kicked back and flew across the room, missing my abdomen by a mere inch or so.

I own a Router, as well as a Miter Saw, and use them often, but i feel that setting up jigs, and clamping down a workpiece in order to use the power tool is a lot of work when i can just go to town with a chisel and mallet, or a plane and spokeshave.

Just my opinion, and hope I didnt offend anyone.

As far as the bench top; well thats the entire reason for using the Holzeppfel inspired bench. These guys did everything by hand, and used a bench like this to accomplish it. I want a piece of history replicated into my own style, in order to work hand tools daily. Any other type of MDF or Plywood topped bench will suffice for the power tool woodworker, but i prefer the idea of doing it by hand, on a bench that was made for that type of work.

Again, i do not mean to offend, I am merely suggesting that my own personal preference is in doing it by hand.
I don't think you offended anybody. You are simply stating your preference of woodworking. I consider myself a hybrid woodworker. I believe there are things a hand tool can do more efficient, and some things a hand tool can't do as efficient compared to a power tool, and vice versa. If I had more time to finish projects I would use hand tools more often than I do.

You will find that you will get better and better with your hand tools the more you use them. I think you are doing a great job. Keep up the good work.

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post #25 of 64 Old 04-19-2013, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarge240 View Post
Chris, I have read and watched Paul sellers stuff before, but this time zoomed in on the DF he chops the mortises in, and noticed how clean the wall was.

Mine will NOT come that clean. I have tried everything, and it continues to splinter. It seems as if the DF I have isn't the same species, or isn't exactly the same.

I am also using bevel edge chisels, and have already snapped the edge off on each one:

I sharpen my chisels as I am working. You will have a lot better luck getting smooth cuts with a sharp chisels.
Pictured chisel - in my opinion needs lots of work before used again.
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post #26 of 64 Old 04-19-2013, 12:36 PM Thread Starter
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The chisels I took pictures of were damaged, and the edges were snapped. I continue to sharpen them as I go, and see a huge difference each time.

I plan in getting a water stone and set if Narex chisels in a few weeks.
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post #27 of 64 Old 04-19-2013, 01:06 PM
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Yes- it is like anything else the more you do it the easier it gets. You will find sharp - and I mean really sharp chisels make work so much easier. The Doug fir should chisel quite easy with sharp chisels. When I first started using chisels I struggled- but now it is fun part of project. I use water stones myself- It might be cheaper to start with the glass/granite/ sandpaper method. It works also. Looking good!!!
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post #28 of 64 Old 04-19-2013, 02:05 PM
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if your chisels are constantly snapping, then they must be either extremely cheap, or you are trying to remove too much material at a time.
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post #29 of 64 Old 04-19-2013, 02:48 PM
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I suppose it could be technique as well. My understanding is that your motion should always be parallel or near parallel to either the bevel or the back of the chisel. Don't try to pry or gouge. I am not the seasoned veteran chiseler that many here are, but I have been doing quite a bit the last 6 months especially. My first chisels were a 9 dollar 3 pack set of Stanley chisels from Ace that I got to practice sharpening. I have been working exclusively with maple, walnut, cherry, ash, and sycamore with only the expected dulling but no chipping of the edge with 25 bevel. That said, I have nicer chisels now and they definitely stay sharper than the buttery soft Stanley metal...

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post #30 of 64 Old 04-19-2013, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
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The chisels are cheap. Plain and simple.


As far as technique; with this DF, it does not come apart at the depth of the cut. It in fact stays put. I continue to tap and move, but it doesn't begin to come out until I pry it. It seems to cut easier at an angle, but the wood is somewhat gummy. Meaning; it doesn't just break apart into pieces, it holds until I chisel the **** out of it.
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post #31 of 64 Old 04-19-2013, 05:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarge240 View Post
The chisels are cheap. Plain and simple.

As far as technique; with this DF, it does not come apart at the depth of the cut. It in fact stays put. I continue to tap and move, but it doesn't begin to come out until I pry it. It seems to cut easier at an angle, but the wood is somewhat gummy. Meaning; it doesn't just break apart into pieces, it holds until I chisel the **** out of it.
Hmmm, gummy wood. I wonder what the moisture content is right now. Builders grade for and pine can be unpredictable. I don't own any mortising chisels so I can't speak from experience, but their shape makes me think that they will be sturdier.

What are you using for sharpening?

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post #32 of 64 Old 04-19-2013, 05:07 PM
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true ... softer wood tears more under chiseling than harder wood. i had a similar problem chiseling in pine when i was making my saw bench. so yes, with soft woods, sharp chisels are even more important.
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post #33 of 64 Old 04-19-2013, 05:47 PM Thread Starter
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Have been sharpening with sandpaper and file
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post #34 of 64 Old 04-19-2013, 05:56 PM
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Not critical- just informational- I would not get close to my chisels with a file unless there was a big chip that required much metal removal. Chris is right soft requires sharp but with a sharp chisel work becomes much easier.
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post #35 of 64 Old 04-19-2013, 11:28 PM
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One question - what angle are you sharpening your chisels at? A chisel at 20* can cut easily, but is a delicate angle that can break more easily. An angle of 35* is hard to cut with, but is strong. Phaedrus likes 25* while I prefer 28* and we are both right on!

Its' never hot or cold in New Hampshire... its' always seasonal.
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post #36 of 64 Old 04-19-2013, 11:38 PM Thread Starter
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I have only sharpened them at the angle they came in. Don't know what that is and have no way to measure it
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post #37 of 64 Old 04-20-2013, 01:21 AM
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i use 28* also. sarge, if you are going to do alot of hand work, a honing guide will become your best friend. you would be amazed at how sharp an edge you can get with one.

the larson guide is very affordable, and great for planing irons, but i don't recommend it because it does not hold chisels well. i made my own guide for chisels, but i'm not 100% happy with it.
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post #38 of 64 Old 04-20-2013, 02:47 AM Thread Starter
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I looked at the veritas chisel guide, I think I will invest in it along with the Narex set and a combination water stone. For the time being though, I'm chopping and sharpening all the way to the finish line!!

Thanks for following and the tips... Keep em coming
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post #39 of 64 Old 04-20-2013, 08:27 PM
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I hate saying it... but most inexpensive chisels are not sharp out of the box and a lot of them don't even have a good angle. When I took mine out of their packaging, the angle was way off and I started to sharpen them as if they were square tipped. Like Chris is saying, find a good guide and go with it. Good luck

Its' never hot or cold in New Hampshire... its' always seasonal.
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post #40 of 64 Old 04-21-2013, 12:21 AM Thread Starter
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Technique was the problem. I decided to chop the last leg with a down stroke moving in the direction of the bevel. Small chops evenly spread, prying away from the depth of the cut as I pulled out the chisel. It took twice as long but looked so much better.

Also needed to note that my first big mistake was found. Apparently I cut the leg height short by 3 1/4 inches by accidentally forgetting to factor in trestle. The trestle was not part of the new benches design, and when I measured my current bench, I didn't realize the trestle should be considered for the total height, not deducted from the current leg height.

So I had to cut 4 extra pieces, and dowel them into the bottom of the legs. I hope glue and dowels hold.
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